The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by convenience, taste, and health & wellness, and the growing importance of technologies such as personalised nutrition, food waste reduction, and robotics. In the last three years alone, there have been over 450,000 patents filed and granted in the consumer industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Consumer: Filled confectionery manufacturing.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

40+ innovations will shape the consumer industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the consumer industry using innovation intensity models built on over 110,000 patents, there are 40+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, hydrogel dressings, dextrin-based compositions, and dairy protein modifications are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Emulsified food composition, legume-based milk alternatives, and textured vegetable protein are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are yeast extract composition and anabolic muscle supplements, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the consumer industry

Filled confectionery manufacturing is a key innovation area in consumer

Filled confectionery manufacturing is primarily used in sugar and baked confectionery to add flavour to the final food product. The fillings are usually in liquid or semi-solid form. The manufacturing process involves forming empty shells that are then filled with flavoured ingredients and allowed to settle by drying or refrigeration.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established consumer companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of filled confectionery manufacturing.

Key players in filled confectionery manufacturing – a disruptive innovation in the consumer industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to filled confectionery manufacturing

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Mondelez International 454 Unlock company profile
Nestle 165 Unlock company profile
Kraft Heinz 101 Unlock company profile
Cargill 70 Unlock company profile
Roquette Freres 45 Unlock company profile
Lotte 42 Unlock company profile
Perfetti Van Melle Group 39 Unlock company profile
Suddeutsche Zuckerrubenverwertungs-Genossenschaft eG 36 Unlock company profile
Wellstat Management Company 34 Unlock company profile
Ingredion 24 Unlock company profile
Hershey 24 Unlock company profile
General Mills 20 Unlock company profile
Gelita 19 Unlock company profile
Wuhu Runlan Biotechnology 18 Unlock company profile
Goli Nutrition 15 Unlock company profile
DouxMatok 15 Unlock company profile
Ferrero International 14 Unlock company profile
Chr. Hansen Holding 13 Unlock company profile
British American Tobacco Plc 13 Unlock company profile
Gen Biscuit 12 Unlock company profile
Kobird 11 Unlock company profile
Symrise 10 Unlock company profile
Firmenich International 10 Unlock company profile
San-Ei Gen F.F.I. 10 Unlock company profile
Vitalgaia Espana 10 Unlock company profile
Anhui Zhilian Management Consultation 10 Unlock company profile
Anhui Baoheng Agriculture 10 Unlock company profile
Yingshang Haoyuan Food 10 Unlock company profile
OlygoseS 9 Unlock company profile
Hainan Yangshengtang Pharmaceutical 9 Unlock company profile
Wuhu Sanshan District Green Food Industry Association 9 Unlock company profile
Maanshan Junjun Food Technology 9 Unlock company profile
Universidad Miguel Hernandez de Elche 8 Unlock company profile
Reswine 8 Unlock company profile
Morinaga & Co 7 Unlock company profile
Li Hua 7 Unlock company profile
Uha Mikakuto 7 Unlock company profile
Vitathinq 7 Unlock company profile
CJ CheilJedang 6 Unlock company profile
Kao 6 Unlock company profile
Nutris Ingredients 6 Unlock company profile
Meiji Holdings 6 Unlock company profile
Gerda and Victor B Strand Holding 6 Unlock company profile
TopGum Industries 5 Unlock company profile
NanJi E-Commerce 5 Unlock company profile
Jinjian Cereals Industry 5 Unlock company profile
Fermbiotics Holding 5 Unlock company profile
Sirio Pharma 5 Unlock company profile
Shanghai LaiYiFen 5 Unlock company profile
Three Squirrels 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Mondelez International is one of the leading patent filers in filled confectionery manufacturing. Some other key patent filers in the space include Nestle, Kraft Heinz, Cargill, and Lotte. Recently, Lotte Confectionery, the confectionery wing of South Korea’s conglomerate Lotte, released a non-sugar snack brand “Zero” which includes chocolate chip cookies, chocolate bars, and frozen cola. The products target the country's rapidly growing domestic zero-sugar product market.

In terms of application diversity, Universidad Miguel Hernandez de Elche leads the pack. Vitalgaia Espana and Wellstat Management stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Kobird held the top position, followed by San-Ei Gen and Olygose.

Consumers around the world are increasingly looking for innovative food items that have unique flavours and tastes. Hence, leading food manufacturers will use filled confectionery manufacturing to launch new products with novel fillings to cater to a wide variety of consumers.  To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the consumer industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Consumer.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.